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Integrating Experimental Research Into An Undergraduate Heat Transfer Course

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.262.1 - 1.262.7

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Paper Authors

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Jr., Robert A. Potter

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Dion J. King

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Charles E. Dean

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2266 ----

Integrating Experimental Research Into An Undergraduate Heat Transfer Course

Charles E. Dean, Dion J. King, Robert A. Potter, Jr. United States Military Academy


This paper describes the integration of a relatively complex research project into an undergraduate heat transfer course. Discussion of the project scope, techniques used to involve students, and assessment of the results are included. The project involved high temperature experimentation with a 155-mm artillery tube and a variety of artillery projectiles. This research was performed by the faculty and students in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.


The mechanical engineering faculty at West Point has long recognized the value of integrating design, computer, and laboratory experience into the undergraduate engineering science courses *. More recently, the faculty have developed creative methods of integrating basic engineering research into the program. One particularly interesting example is the integration of research involving a 155-mm artillery tube into the department’s heat transfer course.


In 1994, the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at West Point received a research grant from the Project Manager’s office for the Crusader Cannon System (PM Crusader) at the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. As the Army worked to develop the new 155-mm Crusader Cannon System, concern was raised about how the projectiles will thermally behave when loaded into cannons that may have very high chamber temperatures. The Crusader cannons will not utilize a powder propellant, as cannons have used for centuries, but will instead incorporate a liquid propellant that will be sprayed into the combustion chamber. The resulting chamber temperatures may easily exceed those typical of cannons firing with powder propellants by as much as a factor of two.

West Point saw that the thermal testing of 155-mm projectiles within Crusader cannon barrels could serve as not only an excellent laboratory exercise for engineering students in the ME480 Heat Transfer Course, but also as a means for the Academy to use its engineering capabilities and resources to help advance an ongoing Army acquisition program.

@Xti~ 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings ‘.,.,ElllEl/

Potter, J. R. A., & King, D. J., & Dean, C. E. (1996, June), Integrating Experimental Research Into An Undergraduate Heat Transfer Course Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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